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In which I have an epiphany

Several weeks ago, I had what may be one of the most powerful epiphanies of my life. It came upon me suddenly, but since then, not a day has gone by where I haven’t thought about it. I’m not sure I will ever not think about it again.

I am a worrier. I’ve also attributed this to my depression and anxiety. It has gotten better as I’ve treated those issues, but never entirely gone away. I worry. It’s what I do.

After an all-clear from my father, I took my daughters to see my grandfather for the first time in several months. It was a big deal. Suffering from leukemia, his guest list is strictly monitored and children under 18 had, until now, been forbidden. He was thrilled to see them. I was thrilled to see him see them.

But after I left, I couldn’t stop worrying. Though Jessica’s nose was dry, it had been running earlier. What if she got too close to him? What if he got sick and wasn’t strong enough to fight off the infection? What if…what if…what if…I couldn’t stop worrying.

So I brought the question to my sister. She reassured me and said all the right things.

Still, I worried.

So I asked my aunt. I confessed my worries and fears. She reassured me and said all the right things.

Still, I worried.

I called my husband. I poured my heart out to him. He reassured me and said all the right things.

Still, I worried.

I worried in spite of all those words that people spoke. I kept looking for someone else to take my worries to, convinced that they would be able to say something that would ease my worry. But nothing worked. No one said the right thing.

That’s when it occurred to me. There was only one person that I could bring this…any…worry to and get an answer that would take my worry away. There was only one person that I could speak to that could help me find peace. That person was God.

Those of you who know me know that though I consider myself a Catholic, and raise my children as such, I don’t often wear my religious heart on my sleeve, or think about the world from a spiritual perspective. So this epiphany…this was a very big deal for me.

I prayed. Instead of looking for someone to take my worries to, I took them to the Lord. And for the first time in my life, I felt peace.

It had little to do with His answer, I found. But my peace came from the telling. I turned to Him. I should always turn to Him.

Perhaps there’s something for you in this epiphany.

If nothing else, will you keep my Poppy in your thoughts and prayers? He…I…we…would all appreciate it.

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Separation of Church and State

Sometimes, I’m happy that we are spending the girls’ preschool and nursery school years in the UK, where they don’t have the separation that is so doted on in the United States. Now, before anyone rails at me and reminds me of religious persecution and why we have the separation of church and state in America, realize that I’m talking about it because of this:

Kicka is the sheep in the back left, Sam is all the way on the right

Kicka is the sheep in the back left, Sam is all the way on the right

I mean, really, there is something to be said for a real Christmas nativity play. The fact that we don’t have to tiptoe around the reason that we have this beautiful (eta: spiritual) season. The fact that my children acted out the birth of Christ, and were able to talk about him in school.

My Angel

My Angel

Something to be said for recognizing that the majority of people (at least in the UK, and in America) do celebrate Christmas, and yet it’s the most taboo of the holidays to talk about in public school. Yet many schools highlight other holidays, faiths, and religions in the interest of education and diversity, but ignore the majority, which could be taught as educational, too.

Baah!

Baah!

If you don’t agree, I don’t mind. As long as you agree that this is the cutest angel and the cutest sheep you’ve ever seen, we’re still on the same page.

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A Family of Five

Disclaimer:  No, I’m not pregnant.  Just wanted to put that out there, in case that’s what you were thinking.

Of all the experiences that we’ve had as a family since moving abroad in 2006, one of the greatest and most life-changing has been to realize that we are a family of five, a family in Christ.

When Marcus and I met, I liked that he was Catholic too, though neither of us was practicing.  We went to church on holidays, for baptisms and weddings, and on the occasional Saturday or Sunday when we were up, moving, and so inclined.  But we weren’t religious or spiritual.

That changed slightly when we had our children, because I knew that I wanted them to grow up in the church.  But we still went to church sporadically, and didn’t include Christ in our day to day life.

When we went to Marriage Encounter, Marcus and I both took reassurance in the idea that our marriage had three people in it–me, him, and God.  But when the weekend memories faded, so did that idea from our lives.

Moving abroad has breathed new life into our ideas about spirituality, religion, our faith, and our personal and familial relationships with the Lord.  Originally belonging to a large Catholic church in Harrogate, we may never have been active or had this experience.  But on the recommendation of our friends, we decided to attend the parish on base.

It was not an easy transition for me from a large parish, where I was a face in the crowd, to a small, faith-driven community where people knew and interacted with one another.  In fact, I felt uncomfortable with this time of church at first, and our attendance was sporadic.

In addition, my children were not well-behaved at mass.  I felt like all eyes were on us, and was embarrassed that they had misbehaved in front of God, as well as people we would see on a regular basis and who did, in fact, know us.

Over the past year, however, everything has changed.  I wish I could pinpoint who, what, or when, but the fact is, it was a combination of everything.

We started attending a Moms and Tots Mass weekly on Tuesday mornings, connecting me through Christ with other women and children that I have come to love and cherish, and who have impacted me and my relationship with my girls.

Marcus became the parish council’s treasurer, allowing him to become involved in the church and it’s decision making.

I started doing the Children’s Liturgy, sharing the word of the Lord with children and drawing on my background as a teacher.  This opportunity has also allowed me a deeper understanding of God’s word.

Add to all of this the fact that, as many of you predicted, the girls are learning about church, God, and our faith.  As a result, they are behaving in church, asking questions, and praying.

We are growing as a family through Christ, thanks to our parish community and our experiences living abroad.

We are, without a doubt, a family of five thanks to the Lord.

I am truly blessed.

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There’s More to Life than Knitting

This post is courtesy of my mother, who informed me yesterday that my blog has had to much knitting speak in it!  Of course, there is more to life than knitting (well, some days). 

My youngest daughter Kicka, 23 months old, has learned the Lord’s Prayer.  Rolling your eyes at the thought of yet another parent who believes that their child is some sort of genius?  I can prove it. 

Kicka Prays the Our Father

One of these days I’ll figure out how to stick that video right in here.  In the meantime, you’ll have to watch it at Photobucket.

She only further proved her genius level by last night (or more appropriately, this morning) figuring out how to climb out of her crib.  Oh joy.

She’ll either be a nun or a rock climber.

I’ll love her either way.

My beautiful baby girl on the day she was born

ETA:  I thought I should mention–Erica asks for a special treat at the end because I had to bribe her to get her to say it for the camera.  I don’t usually bribe her for praying!  :)

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Timing is Everything

I’m in a serious knitting mood, determined to finish the first of the ribbed socks that I cast on almost a month ago and got pushed to the back of my UFO pile.  Add to that the fact that my family and I are all pretty laid up with upset stomachs, and the timing couldn’t be better for a day of television watching and knitting.

 Timing is also everything in other areas of my life, with Easter approaching tomorrow.  My oldest daughter has asked about why we have Easter and why Mommy and Daddy didn’t eat meat on Fridays, so I thought maybe I could give a quick abbreviated explanation.  I simply explained that just like we celebrate Jesus’ birthday on Christmas, on Good Friday Jesus died, and on Easter we remember that he rose from the dead.  She hasn’t asked any other questions about it, and I’m not sure that she “gets it”.  But with her asking, the timing seemed right, and hopefully next year she will ask more questions about our faith.

 It’s the first year that Easter has ever really been something that I’ve thought about, too.  Though I’ve been a Catholic all my life, it’s only in the past year that my husband and I have started attending church more regularly and becoming involved in our Catholic community.  I suppose timing came into play here, too.

I’ve given my writing a lot of thought lately, too.  I’ve been so worried about getting my book edited and sent off, that I forgot that this book, my first novel, came to me and I was inspired.  I will be inspired to finish it and edit it, too…it just isn’t happening as quickly as I might like for it too.  Maybe I’m being too hard on myself.  At any rate, when the timing is right, I’ll know it.

Hopefully the timing of this post comes at a good time for you…whether it inspires you to finish a knitting project, contemplate Easter and your faith, or think about your writing…